Ewan Dale presented his annual report as Hon Treasurer to the Annual General Meeing at Bicester on 17 February 2007.
This is what he had to say:
The financial figures in the July 2006 edition of ME Essential were an interim statement from the auditors, based on their testing of our accounts for the year. On reviewing Dr Gow's research programme, the grant for his project was deferred until 2006 and the expenditure figures were adjusted down by £23,436.
Drops in some forms of unrestricted income, and creeping cost increases, led to a reduced growth in funds compared to 2004. However, careful control allowed reserve funds for company administration to grow by over three months running costs, bringing the cover to over nine months costs plus company members' liability. This was still below the target of 12 months cover.
Although underlying growth has remained slower (and erratic) during 2006, it has continued to keep ahead of cost increases. The un-audited accounts at year end show that the reserves target has been practically achieved. This should mean that in 2007, we have some additional funds available to cover some increase in activities, though we cannot anticipate such funds being available in future years.
While there can be variations of about 5% in the relevant proportions, unrestricted income for the company continues to be approximately 50% subscription, 30% regular donations and fundraising, and 20% irregular income (legacies, large fundraising projects & large donations). This last figure is not dependable income, so our aim is to increase regular donations and fundraising, leaving irregular income to fund additional projects.
During 2006, we have also been rationalising our banking to increase the return on deposited funds.
In the latter part of 2005 there was a slow-down in donations to funds for research. In 2006, the rate of such 'restricted' income improved again, but the annual income level remains low compared to typical research project costs. It is our intention, where possible, to 'seed-fund' research with a view to encouraging major funders to contribute the main shares, (except where a project's merits are deemed worthy of fuller funding, as with Dr Gow's project).